Through ServiceKey, I work with contractors who are struggling to grow their businesses. Finding success takes a combination of efforts in branding, marketing, customer service, and employee care – but building your own personal network is a big part of that too.
The great thing about networking is that people who develop a trusted relationship help each other out in business. If you’re an HVAC, electrical, or plumbing contractor, eventually someone who knows you is going to come across someone who needs your services. It might be a family member who asks if they know someone who does air conditioning repair. It might be a Facebook friend putting up a status asking if anyone knows a reliable plumbing service. If you’ve networked with the right people, they’ll be sure to recommend you when such requests come up.
So how do you network the right way? For one thing, don’t think about what your connections can do for you. Instead, look for opportunities to help them. It’s not that you want people to owe you a favor, but if you’ve helped them out, in most cases people will be willing to throw you a bone when the time comes.
You also need to network strategically. Attend events in your area, whether they’re specifically for your industry or general business networking meetups. You never know who might be there, but don’t go into it cold. Think about the kinds of people who might attend these events beforehand, and put in place a strategy for those you might think you’d like to network with.
If you’ve got a few potential connections lined up, with business cards in hand or LinkedIn invitations sent, make a plan for how you’d like to reach out to each one. Think about what you can do for each person in your network, and how you might look for opportunities for them to help you as well.
Looking for a great opportunity to network? Then sign up for my next $23 Million Dollar Contracting Business Blueprint. These three intensive days will teach you all the strategies you need to take your service business to the next level!